Legumes have taken an important place as a commercial crop in Texas. Their soil-building qualities have long been recognized, and the production of legume seed became a growing business. In addition, considerable interest arose as to the possibility of breeding and selection of native legumes for the development of suitable types to occupy the thousands of miles of rangeland in the southwestern United States. While much experimental work went into the production of exotic cultivated crops such as clover, alfalfa, and vetch, when this book was published in 1959, practically nothing was known about the potential value and volume of crop for native Texas legumes.
This is a scientific book—a book of interest primarily to professional workers in the field of taxonomy and agronomy—but its use as a guide to potential crop and rangeland legumes should prove of importance to many people who have no primary interest in systematics.
It includes a treatment of both native and introduced Texas legumes, with keys to species, ecological notes, flowering dates, common names, and synonymy. Distribution of taxa is shown by dot maps and, when appropriate, extra-limital observations are added.
Chromosome numbers are given for those species for which counts were available. This information includes unpublished data for approximately 50 taxa; in addition, comments as to the agronomic potential of certain native legumes are presented. The introduction includes an original account of the major floristic provinces of the state based on correlated distributions of the legume species. Altogether the text treats 391 legume taxa, 347 of which are native.